Monday, May 31, 2010

The Bookkitten's iPod Playlist: Memorial Day Road Trip 2010

Every trip I make, I always have to make a road trip to commemorate the occasion. Here's this year's Memorial Day selection:

***Ironically, this playlist is very New York-filled, given that I spent my entire road trip in Newport, Boston, and environs!***

1. "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z, featuring Alicia Keys
2. "The Night Chicago Died," Paper Lace
3. "That's What Love Can Do," Boy Krazy
4. "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down," Alicia Keys
5. "This Diamond Ring," Gary Lewis and the Playboys
6. "Everybody Loves a Clown," Gary Lewis and the Playboys
7. "My Cherie Amour," Stevie Wonder
8. "Hallelujah 2010 Version," k.d. lang
9. "Glitter in the Air," Pink
10. "Hey Soul Sister," Train
11. "Haven't Met You Yet," Michael Bublé
12. "Express Yourself (featuring Jonathan Groff)", Glee Cast
13. "Vogue," Glee Cast
14. "Like a Prayer (featuring Jonathan Groff)", Glee Cast
15. "Theme from the A-Team," Daniel Caine Orchestra
16. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," Dropkick Murphys
17. "I Got Rhythm," Nikki Yanofsky
18. "Bienvenue Dans Ma Vie," Nikki Yanofsky
19. "Airmail Special," Nikki Yanofsky
20. "Sunny Side of the Street/Fool in the Rain," Nikki Yanofsky
21. "Let's Have a Party," Derek Miller, Eva Avila, and Nikki Yanofsky
22. "Girlfriend (Radio Edit)," Avril Lavigne
23. "The Boy is Mine," Glee Cast
24. "Live Like We're Dying," Kris Allen
25. "Whataya Want From Me," Adam Lambert
26. "In My Head," Jason Derülo
27. "Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)," The Script
28. "According to You," Orianthi
29. "Fool in the Rain," Led Zeppelin
30. "Alejandro," Lady Gaga
31. "Your Love is My Drug," Ke$ha
32. "My First Kiss," 3OH!3 featuring Ke$ha
33. "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga
34. "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich," Lady Gaga
35. "One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home," Glee Cast featuring Kristin Chenowith
36. "Home," Glee Cast featuring Kristin Chenowith
37. "Pay Me My Money Down," Bruce Springsteen
38. "Halfway Gone," Lifehouse
39. "Shout It Out Loud," Glee Cast
40. "Long May You Run," Neil Young

The Queen's Meme: The Last Time Meme

rolled your eyes

When was the last time you...

Tied your shoe?
About two months ago, when I tied my sneakers. I typically put my shoes on without tying them; I prefer slipping them on as opposed to tying and re-tying laces.

reorganized your bedroom?
Seven years ago, when I first moved into the condo.

Took a walk in the park?
Yesterday, actually, when I visited the Boston Common and the Public Garden.

Chewed gum?
About a month ago, I think. I have TMJ, so I don't chew gum all that often.

drew a stick person?
Last week.

activated something?
I don't remember; haven't used the old Wondertwin powers in awhile, sorry!

***Little aside here, kittens: ever notice that the guy Wondertwin ALWAYS turns into water?***

Took a photograph?
Today, as a matter of fact; a good friend of mine got married!!!

Drank a milkshake?
Yesterday, at the Lily Pad Cafe next to the Frog Pond on the Boston Common.

ate orange jello?
Ahhh, NEVER!!!! Not a fan of Jell-O. When I was a kid Mama Cat and I both had pneumonia at the same time, and Papa Cat made us lime Jell-O. Haven't been near the stuff since.

google mapped an address?
Yesterday, when I realized I hadn't Google mapped the way home from the wedding!

sang your favorite song?
In the car, on the way home today!

made a peace globe. (Please show us!)
It's on my to-do list once my life calms down, I promise!

Threw a baseball?
A few years ago at a Memorial Day picnic. Got hit with said baseball, and haven't thrown one since.

Fumbled with a button?
Tonight, as I put my PJs on.

answered the doorbell?
Last month, when the guys from Public Power came around trying to sell their wares.

Spilled your drink?
Last week, at work, spilled coffee all over my desk.

administered CPR?
Never, but I know how to do it. Unless you count my certification a year and a half ago, when I did CPR on a dummy.

looked in the mirror?
An hour ago, while I was washing my face.

testified in court?
Never, thankfully.

Made a sarcastic remark?
Moi, sarcastic?!?!

Offered someone advice?
Last week, when I told a friend of mine to get tea tree oil to get rid of zits. Works better than Clearasil!

Watched a sunrise or sunset?
Watched the sunset last night from my hotel room, as well as driving home tonight.

Were jealous?
I honestly don't remember...this is a big thing for me!
Smiled when you didn’t feel like smiling

Loved when you didn't feel like loving?
I don't think I've ever experienced this feeling. Or maybe I'm unwilling to disclose this information...Mimi, I didn't know you were such a psychologist!

Ironed an article of clothing?
This morning. Ironed the dress I wore to the wedding today.

noticed you didn't give a damn?
Last Thursday, I was at work and almost fell asleep at my desk. I had a lot to do, but I was like, "Forget this! I'm going home and taking a nap!"

had a mammogram?
Haven't had one yet! One more year before I'm eligible!

Read your horoscope?
Tonight, when I logged onto Yahoo Mail.

I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time to mope.

Held someone’s hand?
A month and a half ago. I was having a rough day and BFF just started holding my hand and squeezing it.

Crossed a bridge?
Tonight! I crossed the Braga Bridge on 195 West between Somerset and Fall River, Massachusetts.

threw away a candy wrapper?
This morning, I threw away a Hershey Kiss wrapper. My friend made a little goody bag for the wedding guests staying at the hotel.

Sat on a bench?
Yesterday, I sat on several benches in Boston--at the T stations, Boston Common, etc.

turned a page?
Yesterday afternoon, reading a book at the Trident Booksellers in Boston.

tripped over your own 2 feet?
Saturday, walking through Newport. Tripped over a step I didn't see.

Sat on a beach?
This past February, when I went to Magen's Bay on a cruise of the southern Caribbean.

dialed the wrong number?
Last night, when I called the banquet facility to find out what time the wedding was. I panicked because all of a sudden I was uncertain of the time!

Ignored a phone call?
I don't remember.

Kissed a bride?
Today, at my friend's wedding.

Original tweet: five days ago. Retweet: this morning.

Rode a roller coaster?
Fourteen years old, I think. I'm not so fond of roller coasters anymore.

you were really you?
Right now.

Cried yourself to sleep?
Last week, after a really frustrating day at work.

Were speechless?
Speechless? Moi? Hmmm...

rode a bus?
Yesterday...the T closed the track between two stations and we had to bus our way there.

went to a funeral?
Last October, for a friend and mentor of mine.

were right?
I got the answer to a trivia question correct on the Harvard tour yesterday...does that count?


were left?
Well, I do consider myself a liberal...

A few minutes ago, when I went to find out the name of the bridge I crossed today.

bent over?
A few hours ago, when I changed from heels into sneakers for the two+ hour drive home.

sent a text message?
A few hours ago, after Sister Kitten texted me to ask about the wedding.

Lit a candle?
I don't remember...winter, perhaps?

Lost your temper?
Last week at work, when I went into Freakout Mode.

fell off a horse?
Never happened...I haven't ridden a horse since I was a kid.

changed the oil in your car?
I personally have never done this, but my mechanic changed the oil in my old car back at the end of March. Haven't had an oil change done on 2.0 yet.

Added a new FACEBOOK friend?
A couple of weeks ago.

went bowling?
A year ago.

Laughed uncontrollably?
A month ago.

Felt guilty?
I was born and raised Catholic. I have what I call "Original Guilt". Original Sin goes away with baptism, but Original Guilt stays with you forever.

Looked up a word in the dictionary?
Friday afternoon, I looked up a word in the Spanish-English dictionary.

returned from the point of no return?
About two and a half years ago.

couldn't remember your name?
Hasn't happened yet.

surrendered to temptation?
Yesterday. Bought a hot dog from a street vendor.

felt genuinely happy?
Right now.

saw a famous person?
May 22, when I saw Carol Burnett at the Palace.

kissed in a car?
It was a looonnnnggg time ago, but it was wonderful...

Sent a greeting card?
Today. Gave a card to the bride and groom.

used your passport?
April, when Mama Cat and I went to Niagara Falls, Canada.

yelled at your television?
During the NHL playoffs last week.

confided a secret?
Can't tell ya. It's a secret!

changed your blog template?
When I got my header...I think it's been a year!

danced like no one was watching?
Today, at the reception.

wrote in cursive?
I always write in cursive.

took a driving test?
May 27, 1992...the day I got my license.

Backed up your computer files?
Last month, after I first got my external hard drive.

When was the last time you said this was the last time?
Last week, some time...

Thursday, May 27, 2010



I'm going to christen 2.0 (aka my new wheels) this weekend with a tres fab, good ol' fashioned, New England-highlighted ROAD TRIP!!!

It all started when I was invited to a wedding on Memorial Day. Yep, Monday proper. At first I wasn't terribly thrilled about spending my Monday off several hours away from home. I booked a hotel room for Sunday night, and the bride arranged for a late checkout so we didn't have to putz around town before the wedding.

I complained to my hairdresser about this the last time I got my hair cut, and she asked, "Why not make a weekend out of it?"

And that's what I'm doing.

Saturday I'm getting out of Dodge early and heading down to Newport, where I'll be spending the day. I booked a night at a little hostel down there. Sunday I'm driving up to Boston, and spending the day there before driving to Fall River, where I'll be spending Sunday night and then going to the wedding the next day. Monday's the wedding, I'm home Monday night, and I hope not to fall asleep at work on Tuesday.

Oh, and did I mention this is my SECOND road trip in as many months? Mama Cat and I drove to Niagara Falls, Canada in April. We had the BEST TIME. And we're already planning for next year.

I absolutely LOVE when the travel bug hits, don't you?

Will talk to you kittens next week, when I am back from my travels!

Ciao for now!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kitten's Carol Adventure

I currently don't have any pictures to post, but they are on my camera and they will be uploaded here once my vida loca calms down a bit--whenever THAT will be.

Anyhoo, tonight was the long-awaited night when I finally got to realize a childhood dream--seeing Carol Burnett live. In person. At the Palace. How cool is it that I live in a state that has a theater called the Palace? But I digress.

I arrived at the Palace Theater around 7:00 PM and parked my car in the adjacent garage. The Palace is a part of a fine arts complex that includes the Waterbury Arts Magnet School. It was my first time in this particular part of Waterbury, and I was a little nervous. However, there were so many patrons around, as well as so much security, that my worries turned out to be unfounded.

The doors to the theater didn't open till about 7:15. I waited in line and tweeted about my impatience for a bit, but then managed to strike up a conversation with two people behind me. It was really nice to meet other hard-core Carol fans--and I was sharing the space with over 1,000 of them tonight!

First of all, let me just say that I may get a subscription to the Palace Theater just for the Palace itself. It is an absolutely gorgeous space. It underwent extensive renovations about ten years ago, and the results are more than worth it. I will post pictures when I get a chance; lots of patrons tonight were taking pictures of the theater itself. Meanwhile, you can read more about it by clicking here, and going to the Palace Theater's official website.

The show officially started around ten after eight. The gorgeous red-and-gold velvet curtain rose, and revealed a video screen, which played a montage of Carol's Tarzan yells from her show. This segued into clips of some of the funniest segments from the questions and answers that opened The Carol Burnett Show every week. Finally, to conclude the video presentation, there was a montage of openings from Carol's show, featuring Carol entering the stage in a different Bob Mackie outfit every week.

And then, at the end of the open...

Timpani roll, please...

Spotlight, stage right...

Enter, Carol Burnett.

She was wearing a sparkly black minidress, black heels, and a warm smile. About half the theater stood up in welcome.

And I had to wipe tears from my eyes. That really surprised me, that reaction. I knew that Carol had always meant a lot to me, I'm still teary just thinking about it.

The stage was very simply decorated with three oriental rugs, and later, a chair, a side table, and a bouquet of white lilies. Carol introduced herself, briefly outlined the evening's agenda, and encouraged any and all questions. And then, just as in her show, she asked to "bump up the lights", and the questions began.

The leadoff question came from a man who had just read Carol's latest book, This Time Together (review coming soon; again, I've got a vida loca lately). He wanted to know why Carol named her Yorkie Bruce, even though Bruce was a girl. Carol explained that she had a very good friend at UCLA, Bruce Campbell, and once promised Bruce that she would name her first child after him. And her first child was a female Yorkie. Hence, Bruce.

The next question came from a fellow who wanted to hear the Tarzan yell. And of course, Carol obliged. :) She talked about how she can only do the yell in controlled circumstances; one time, she went to a department store in New York to buy stockings, and didn't have a credit card to pay. She had her checkbook, but the sales clerk needed identification (!). So, the sales clerk went to talk to her manager, who then told Carol that her check would be approved if she did the Tarzan yell. She did the yell, and all of a sudden, a security guard burst into the room with a gun in hand.

There were lots of other questions asked. One woman drove all the way from Pennsylvania with her mother and sisters to be at the show. She asked Carol to call on her sister, who was terrified to speak. Well, the sister did speak, and asked Carol two things: What she knew for sure, and what was the smartest thing she had ever done. I loved Carol's response: What she knew for sure was that you don't really know anything for sure. As for the smartest thing, she wasn't sure what it was.

One young man announced that he brought his 93-year-old mother with him, and it was her birthday. He asked Carol to sing "Happy Birthday" to her, and both she, and everyone else in the theater, obliged.

One woman stood up and announced that she was named after Carol, and wanted to know if Carol had any advice for her. Carol was flattered, chuckled quite a bit, and just told young Carol to "keep on keeping on."

Carol also had a very funny story to share about Tim Conway. Tim's wife, Mary Ann, was a champion bridge player, and she'd travel across the country to participate in bridge tournaments. One night, she was invited to a party hosted by other bridge players, and Tim accompanied her, albeit reluctantly. The evening went on, and Tim's getting bored, because he knows nothing about bridge. Finally, near the end of the shindig, Tim goes to the bathroom, opens the medicine cabinet, and pulls out a jar of Vaseline and a jar of Q-Tips. He took a glob of Vaseline and dotted it on his face, then took the Q-Tips and stuck them into the Vaseline. He returned to the living room, looked at his wife, and his wife was stunned. There was a long silence, and finally, Tim quipped, "The Q-Tips jar exploded."

Carol stated that Tim and Mary Ann divorced shortly after that.

Now, for those of you who are wondering if Carol is as nice, sweet, and grounded in person as all of those news stories say she is...I'm here to say they are all true. Even though the Palace was a big theater, and there were over 1,000 people there to see her (a sell-out crowd, nearly), it still felt like a very intimate evening. The audience was gushing in their adoration toward Carol, and she was very touched and flattered. She accepted a gift of a lovely, hand-knit scarf from a fan, and chuckled when another told her that this evening was on her bucket list.

One fan asked her if she would follow Betty White's lead and host SNL. Carol flatly said no, and the audience groaned. Carol then smiled and explained that she thought Betty did such a good job, she felt that she couldn't top her. She added that she didn't want to feel like she was copying Betty, either. Carol did mention, though, that she really wanted to be on Glee, and there were screams and hoots from the audience in response to this news. Carol gushed about Jane Lynch, and the music, and said that the "kids were fabulous."

The evening was interspersed with video clips of movie takeoffs from the old Carol Burnett Show, musical duets with guests, and anecdotes about her life in show business, all very warm and moving. She had nothing but kind words to say about her mentor, Garry Moore, when a fan asked her whom she had learned the most from. And then, of course, was a question about Carol's relationship with Lucille Ball. Lucy died on Carol's birthday, and every year, on her birthday, Lucy would send Carol flowers. Carol learned about Lucy's death from the morning news shows on TV, and later that afternoon, Lucy's flowers arrived at her door.

Overall, it was a very wonderful evening, one I will hold close to my heart for a very long time to come. Yes, Carol, I really am glad we had this time together, and the last lyric of your theme song does ring true: it seemed we really just got started, when the time came to say "so long."

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's TOMORROW!!!!!!

Tomorrow, at 8:00 PM, one of my life-long dreams is finally going to come true.

I am going to see Carol Burnett perform. Live. In person. For ninety minutes. Sans intermission.

I have been anticipating this day for weeks now, and while the excitement has ebbed and flowed due to life's daily travails, I'm just BURSTING with excitement right now. So. Frakkin'. Excited.

I am bringing my Went With the Wind Barbie doll to the performance. I hope that I can meet her to sign it. I'm not sure if I am courageous enough to wait at the stage door after the performance, though.

And yet a part of me is in total disbelief. I can't believe I'm actually going to see Carol Burnett. I can't believe this is finally happening to me. I'm just flabbergasted. Flabbergasted, excited, bursting with anticipation...I'd better stop.

You can bet that I will post about my experience!!! I hope to have photos, but I don't know how strict the theater is with cameras. All I know is my little Kodak M380 can take excellent pictures sans flash or sound.

I will write soon, kittens...I will NOT let you down!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thursday Thunks: My life according to the alphabet

Click here to play along this week.

This week is going to be easy... just one question. Ok, well maybe not so easy. Take each letter of the alphabet and describe something in your life... don't skip any!

Am very, very busy lately, which explains why I haven't posted anything other than memes.
Barely staying awake right now.
Coffee is a godsend. If I'm in a rush in the morning, I go to...
Dunkin' Donuts for a large iced dark roast. Best iced coffee beverage I've ever had.
Every now and then I will purchase breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts...a turkey sausage egg white flatbread.
Flatbreads at Dunkin' Donuts are tres yummy.
Got tickets to see Carol Burnett on Saturday night!! This makes me very...
I'm also going to see Conan in two and a half weeks, as you know. I'm not too excited about that one...
JUST KIDDING!!! You know that I'm a Conan fangirl! Or CocoNut...or CocoHead, whatever ya wanna call it.
Kias are great cars. My old Spectra lasted over 147,000 miles, and my new Spectra is even better.
Love the show 30 Rock. Season finale tomorrow night? Will Jack choose Avery or Nancy?
Maybe he'll choose Avery, but I'm hoping for...
Nancy. I'm a sucker for high school sweetheart reunion stories!
Oprah interviewed Will and Jada Pinckett Smith this week. Their family is so frakkin' adorable and smart and articulate and...I want Will Smith to be my dad!
Probably will fall asleep as soon as I post this. Probably not. Either way, I need some peace and...
Quiet. I love the quiet. I also love to...
Rest and relax, and especially to...
SLEEP!!!! Especially sleeping late on the weekends.
Tea is the beverage I drink when I need to...
Unwind from a long day. Sometimes it also helps to...
Vent to a friend or family member.
When I go to the dentist's, every now and then, I need to get some...
X-rays. If this question started with an E, I'd have an easier time answering.
Yaaaawwwnnn...I'm sleepy. Time for bed!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Queen's Meme: The Under the Covers Meme

1. Name 2 things you have done under the covers in the last week.

  • Slept
  • Watched TV...sorry, kittens, you're not going to get any sexy talk outta me
2. Do you know what a woobie is? Do you have a special one?
What's a woobie? I don't feel like googling it right now.

3. What prompts you to pull the covers over your head and hide from the world?
Stress from work, conflict with colleagues, having wayyyy too much to do and not enough time to do it.

4. Firm or soft?
Not too firm, not too soft...somewhere in the middle.

5. Silk or flannel?

6. Lights on or off?

7. Fan or no air?

Window open! Wide in the summer, a hair in the winter. I need to have fresh air circulating.

8. Completely dark or nite light?

9. Windows open or shut
See #7.

10. Sweet dreams or nightmares?
Sweet dreams 99% of the time.

11. PJ's or……
Flannel PJ's, or a t-shirt and shorts.

12. Set bedtime?
I aim for 10 or 10:30 PM. If I can get in earlier, that is awesome.

13. What do sheep count when they can't sleep?
They count people.

14. What does your alarm clock sound like?
A rawther loud, obnoxious beeping sound.

15. White noise or music

16. TV or IPod?

17. Can you recall a pleasant dream you'd like to share?
My brain's too tired...which is why I'm doing this meme, so I'll fall asleep soon.

18. Under the covers or outside the covers
Burrowed under the covers. Short-sheeted, preferably. Total cocoon.

19. Insomniac or sleep angel?
Sleep angel.

20. What is your favorite sleep aid for those tossin' and turnin' nights?
A glass of wine and totally boring TV. The Weather Channel's good for that.

21. Morning person or night person

22. Bedtime snack?
Wine and cheese. Sometimes a cookie. But nothing really heavy.

23. Hot or cold room
Cold room.

24. Bedtime ritual?
Brush teeth, wash face, read a little, watch the news, shut it off when the weather forecast comes on. Of course, when Conan was still on the air sometimes I'd catch the first half hour if I was awake enough. Things will change come November, when he returns to the airwaves at 11 PM...

25. Twin, Queen, King, Bunk or Futon

26. Socks or naked feet
Socks in the winter, naked feet in the summer.

27. Bedroom door locked or unlocked?
I have a loft bedroom, and no bedroom door.

28. Tent or hotel room
HOTEL ROOM No tent ever!!!

29. If you could be bored to sleep, what would bore you?
Good question...C-SPAN used to bore me, but now it keeps me awake at night. Probably one of my old English professors lectures.

30. Prayers or mantra?

31. What was the worst nightmare you ever had?
Too nightmarish to blog about...I don't want to give any of you kittens nightmares of your own.

32. Please share any ideas on how to stop a person from snoring.
I'm all ears.

Surgery. Or stuff cotton or a cookie into their mouth.

33. If one purely pleasant thought could ensure fast and sound deep sleep for you every night, what would your one thought be?
That worry doesn't exist.

34. How many hours do you normally sleep?
Ideally, I'd like to get eight or nine hours, but lately, it's more like five or six.

35. Thunderstorms or quiet starry night?
Starry, starry night...

36. Warm bath or hot shower?
Hot shower, but I'd love to have more time for a warm bath.

37. What is the craziest thing that ever happened in your bed?
Tee hee hee...;)

38. Name a song you could fall asleep to.
As corny as this best friend has the most beautiful singing voice. Any song he sings would guarantee pleasant dreams.

39. Who last told you a bedtime story?
It's been so long, I can't remember.

Sunday Stealing: The Speed Dating Meme, Part 2

26. Have you ever been stung by a bee?
Many times when I was a kid...never as an adult. Of course, now that I've mentioned that I'm gonna get stung next week.

27. What's the sickest you've ever been?
I was hospitalized with the flu back in 2005. Four days, three nights, no fun.

28. What's your favorite form of exercise?

29. What's your favorite Cyndi Lauper song?
"Time After Time"

30. What did you do for your 13th birthday?
I celebrated with the Cat Family, as well as Auntie and Uncle Cat.

31. Are you afraid of heights?
HELLS NO! I love flying and will always request a window seat, plus love climbing to the top of lighthouses, tall buildings, and the like.

32. Have you ever taken dance lessons?
I took ballet in the 4th grade. I stopped taking ballet in the 5th grade.

33. What's your favorite newspaper?
The New York Times

34. What's your favorite Broadway / West End musical?
Les Miserables

35. What's the most memorable class you've ever taken?
French Culture and Civilization, Part II, second semester, freshman year of college, spring 1995. That's when our professor took us to see Les Miz, and took us out to dinner. We had orchestra seats to the show, and she sent us home in chauffeur-driven limos. And we didn't have to pay a dime! It was fantastic!

36. What's your favorite knock-knock joke?

37. What's your least favorite commercial?
Any of the Viagra commercials with the parody of "Viva Las Vegas."

38. If you could go to Disney World with any celebrity alive today, who would it be?
Look at my left sidebar and you'll have the answer.

39. Do you prefer baths or showers?
Nothing beats a hot bubble bath.

40. What's your favourite newspaper comic strip?
Pearls Before Swine

41. What's your favorite breakfast food?
The egg white turkey sausage flatbread from Dunkin Donuts.

42. Who's your favorite game show host?
Please don't laugh at me for saying this...Bob Eubanks. Don't ask me why; I'm not even sure why I like him.

43. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I wanna fly.

44. Do you like guacamole?

45. Have you ever been in a food fight?

46. Name five songs to which you know all the lyrics.
  • "On My Own," Les Miserables
  • "Hungry Heart," Bruce Springsteen
  • "Don't Stop Believin'," Journey
  • "Dancing Queen," ABBA
  • "I've Loved These Days," Billy Joel
47. What's your favorite infomercial?
The one for WEN Cleansing Conditioner. No, I have not bought any.

48. What's the longest you've ever waited in line?
Five and a half hours to get into the Palais de l'Elysee, where the president of France lives.

49. What's on the cover of your address book or day planner?
I don't own either; I use my cell phone.

50. Have you ever taken a picture in one of those little booths?
Back in high school and college, yeah. Not recently, though.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Can an iPod really lower your self esteem?

So my bloggy pals Jenners and September Mom did it, and now I am giving into the peer pressure of doing this little iPod Shuffle meme. Here's how it goes:

1. Put your iPod or MP3 player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question even if it doesn’t make sense. NO CHEATING PLEASE!

Well, Jenners' iPod called her a name; I'm hoping that mine doesn't do the same thing. Let the games begin...

How do you feel today?
In Your Room
by the Bangles. Okaaaayyyy...I'm not quite feeling romantic today.

What’s your outlook on life?
Joy! by the Boston Pops. Yeah, that's pretty accurate. Thank you, iPod. :)

What does your family think of you?
Baby Don't Go
by Sonny and Cher. This makes no sense, since the opening lyrics are:

"I never had a mother,
I hardly knew my dad..."

My parents and I are very close, so this is NOT a good choice. Can you redeem yourself with the next one, iPod?

What do your friends think of you?
Another Suitcase in Another Hall
from the Evita soundtrack, original Broadway cast. So I'm disposable?!?! NOT!!

What do your exes think of you?
I'm Not in Love
by 10CC. Can an iPod really cause low self-esteem?!?!

How’s your love life?
Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb (Awwww...that is so sweet. I missed you too. Who are you?)

How will your love life be in the future?
Puer Natus Est
by Cantus. Loosely translated from the Latin, it means "For unto us a child is born." WHAAAATTT?!?!!? Does that mean I'm gonna get pregnant soon?!?!

Will you get married?
If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow. Well, I guess, like Sheryl says, "It can't be that bad."

Are you good at school?
El Shaddai
by Amy Grant. Well, I was good at languages.

Will you be successful?
Scattered Pieces
by Domestic Problems. They're a band from Grand Rapids, Michigan. You really have a high opinion of me, don't you, iPod?

What song should they play on your birthday?

La Vie Boheme
by the original Broadway cast of Rent. Well, I am a little quirky, may as well celebrate it!

The soundtrack of your life?
2000 Years
by Billy Joel. A little obscure here.

You and your best friends are?
When the Stars Go Blue
by Tim McGraw. Well, if you really read into it, it's accurate. "Where do you go when you're lonely/where do you go when you're blue/where do you go when you're lonely/I'll follow you/when the stars go blue." That's really sweet!

Happy times:
School's Out
by Alice Cooper. Tee hee hee...

Sad times:
Don't Ask Me Why
by Billy Joel. Yeah, I'd say so. When shit happens and you don't know why, "Don't wait for answers/just take your chances/don't ask me why." Didn't know my iPod was so philosophical.

For tomorrow:
Ludlow Street
by Julian Casablancas. A song of regret and lament? Gee, iPod, I thought you were turning the tide with that last one.

For you:
Swinging Hawaii by Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis. Um, yeah, I've always wanted to visit Hawaii, but what do you mean it's just for me? Is it a sign for me to leave Connecticut?

What does next year have in store for me?
A Kiss is Not a Contract by Flight of the Conchords. Okay, so how should I put this together with the question that tells me that I'm gonna get preggers?

What do I say when life gets too hard?
Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5. An answer that makes sense! Don't we ALL wonder why life deals us some crappy cards sometimes?

What song will I dance to at my wedding?
by Vince Guaraldi. This is one of the songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Guess I'll get married in December, to a pairs skater or an ice dancer, and we'll have our first dance--er, skate--on the pond.

What do you want as your career?
by Carly Simon. I got nuttin'.

Your favorite saying?
Kung Pao
by Brad Paisley. Well, it's as good as any.

How will I die?
Eensy Weensy Spider
by Carole and Paula. Okay, I'm gonna die in a flood, huh?

My iPod doesn't have much faith in me, kittens. I thought I'd have better luck with this meme. If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna head over to Mimi's to see what she's got cooking up this week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Speed Dating Meme

1. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
Wacky Wednesday. I still remember the opening line: "One day I woke up with a shoe on the wall. A shoe on the wall? Shouldn't be there at all!"

2. If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be?
The Smurfs' village. Always wanted to know what it's like to live in a mushroom.

3. What's the longest you've gone without sleep?
Twenty four-plus hours. It was my senior year in high school, and we had flown to Madrid from New York. I had jet lag, and had to adjust to the time change.

4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?
"Copacabana", hands down.

5. Who's your favorite Muppet?
Sesame Street: Big Bird
Non-Sesame Street: Rizzo the Rat

6. What's the habit you're proudest of breaking?
I'm still trying to break several bad habits, such as biting my nails.

7. What's your favorite website?

8. What's your favorite school supply?
The sticky note

9. Who's your favorite TV attorney?
I don't watch any of the Law and Order shows, and there are no attorney characters on either of my two favorite shows, Glee and 30 Rock. So I guess I don't have one.

10. What was your most recent trip of more than 50 miles?
Last month, when Mama Cat and I went to Niagara Falls.

11. What's the best bargain you've ever found at a garage sale or junk shop?
A $50, barely used Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Well, I got it from Craigslist, so I guess that doesn't count. But I DID get my steam cleaner from a garage sale!

12. Where were you on September 11, 2001?
At work, during my first full week on the job.

13. What's your favorite tree?
It's either the white dogwood or weeping cherry blossom.

14. What's the most interesting biography you've read?
I've read lots of them! But I really liked Carol Burnett's memoirs; I just finished reading her latest book.

15. What do you order when you eat Chinese food?
Sesame chicken.

16. What's the best costume you've ever worn?
I dressed as Madonna for Halloween one year. This year, I want to dress as Flo, the lady from the Progressive commercials.

17. What's your least favorite word?

18. If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?
Florida--because it's the one state that sounds most like a girl's name.

19. Who's your favorite bear?
It's either Winnie the Pooh or Smokey.

20. Describe something that's happened to you for which you have no explanation.
Everything happens for a reason. I don't think there's much that's happened to me that can't be explained.

21. If you could travel anywhere in Africa, where would it be?
Egypt. It's all about the pyramids, baby!

22. What did you have for lunch yesterday?
Homemade chicken soup.

23. Where do you go for advice?
In this order: mother, father, sister, biffle.

24. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?
The dictionary.

25. Have you ever been snorkeling? Scuba diving?
Snorkeling, yes. Scuba diving, no.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday 9: Hey Jealousy

1. When was the last time that you got jealous?

I honestly don't remember. I really don't. Way back in the past I used to let the green-eyed monster get the best of me, but now I recognize whenever jealous impulses come along, and I try to stop them.

2. At what point do you finally decide it's time to move forward with your life (like, major changes)? How do you know? What do you do?

Whenever some major catastrophe has occurred. The best thing to do is learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and forge ahead. Sounds cliched, I know, but it's true. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

3. When is it time to just let it ('it' can be whatever you choose) go? How do you know? What do you do?

I always go with my cut. My intuition has never, ever let me down. Whenever I've gone against instinct, I've had to pay for it dearly.

4. How many times must someone push your buttons before you've just had enough? Why?

Depends on who's doing the pushing and what the situation is.

5. If I S/O were to cheat on you, could you ever see yourself giving them a second chance? Or a third?

No. Effing. Way.

6. What was the last thing that someone did that you were very grateful for?

Papa Cat's offer to help me negotiate a deal for--and pay for--my new car.

7. How much time do you spend online in a given weekday? What about the weekends?
One or two hours seven days a week.

8. How many online journals/blogs do you read regularly? What are some of your favorites and why?

I have a lot of blogs in my readers, as you can see, but I usually only make it to three or four per day. Look in my sidebar to see my faves!

9. What was the last major purchase that you made?
A new car. Signed the paperwork yesterday.

RIP: My little green car, 2002-2010

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have absolutely RAVED about my car, a 2002 Kia Spectra. Kittens, I am saddened to report that she has bitten the dust--and it was a sudden death to boot.

I was driving home from work Wednesday afternoon, cruising down the highway at 70, when all of a sudden she started revving funny. And she started losing power, fast. So as I'm pulling over to the side of the road, I hit the gas, and all of a sudden, she revved from 1000 rpm to 4000 rpm. I got over to the shoulder and killed the ignition, then pulled out my cell phone and called AAA. I then called my mechanic to let him know I was on my way, and requested arrangement for a rental.

I waited about half an hour for AAA to show up. As I waited, I started the car again to see if I could pull her further to the side of the road. She started up fine, I put her into drive, hit the gas--and she DIDN'T MOVE. At all. I knew this was serious.

So AAA comes to get me and we drive up to the dealership. I was devastated. Yes, my little Spectra had 147,000 miles on her, and I was hoping to get her up to 200,000 before I considered a new car, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

We arrived at the dealership and the tow truck guy takes her off the flatbed and I hand my mechanic the keys. He goes out to move it; it won't budge. He said it was a transmission problem, most likely. Greeaaaaaaattt.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car picked me up at the dealership, and I made arrangements for my rental--a 2009, royal blue, Kia Spectra. Same car as I was driving, but a newer, redesigned model. Oh, the Universe has SUCH a sense of humor...

I knew when I got home that it was time to look for a new car, and fast. I knew that I wanted another Kia. I bought my little green car brand new, and got 147,000+ miles out of her. And that breakdown was the ONLY time she ever broke down on me. All she needed, before her death, was routine maintenance, oil changes, and as she got older, replacement parts. But she NEVER broke down on me until this week.

So when I got home I went to the website and looked at their used car deals. I found several, printed out the specs, called Papa Cat and told him we had something to discuss over dinner the following night (I was planning on having dinner at the 'rents house, anyway. It's as if the moon, the stars, and the planets aligned just for me).

The next day I'm on my way up to the Cat Family homestead when my mechanic calls--the transmission's completely dead, and I needed a new one. $1500. At 147,000 miles, it really didn't make much sense to invest in a new transmission. I said, "No thanks."

I arrived at the Cat Family homestead, and Papa Cat and I looked at the specs. We decided on a 2008 Spectra, used, for under $10,000. I called the dealership and got a hold of a guy in sales. That car was sold that day. My heart broke. However, there was another Spectra on the lot--the exact same car that I had for the rental, except it was gold.

Again, I felt that the moon, the stars, and the planets were aligning just for me.

We did the deal over the phone, and made arrangements to pick her up yesterday afternoon. So now I am the proud owner of a 2009 Kia Spectra. I'm thinking of calling her 2.0, since my last car was the 2002 version.

In retrospect, I had had some gut feelings for several months that my little green car was about to die. It was falling apart gradually--first it was the little things, like the rear defroster. It had trouble starting up in the mornings. And then the hazards got stuck and I had to call AAA for that one. And then--and this was probably the biggest tell-tale sign--my car, in the last month of its life, would lurch whenever I put it into drive, and sometimes I would have to shift it into reverse before it would shift into drive.

When I went to take care of the service bill, my mechanic told me that they couldn't even push the car into the garage. It wouldn't shift into drive at all,. I don't think it would have switched into neutral. He told me that the technician had to go outside and look under the car IN THE PARKING LOT to see what was wrong. The fluids were all good, and the engine was in fine shape, but something snapped in the transmission.

In spite of my little green car's tragic death, I must admit I really like my new one. 2.0 glides on the road. She handles very nicely. Even the stereo sounds a lot better. I finally have a CD player, and I've got air conditioning back.

I hope to post pictures soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Word of the day

The word of the day is business.

I started thinking about the meaning of this word yesterday, on my way to work, when, stuck in construction traffic, I saw a sign that read, "Business entrance." Business. Don't you think it should be pronounced "busy-ness"? Think about it: we use the suffix "-ness" in our language quite a bit, and when we combine it with an adjective, we make it into a noun.

Only, when we change the adjective into said noun, and the adjective ends in a "y", the "y" changes to an "i." For example, "happy" + "ness" = happiness. "Ready" + "ness" = "readiness."

So business, if you break the word down into its components, is "busy" + "ness". A place where people keep busy. Makes total sense, right?

So I decided, to confirm my theory, to look up the word "business" in my good ol' trusty Webster's American College Dictionary:

busi-ness: n. 1. an occupation, profession, or trade. 2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit. 3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service. 4. volume of trade; patronage or custom. 5. a store, office, factory, etc., where commerce is carried on.

A store, office, factory, etc., where commerce is carried on? That's a place where people keep busy! HA! I have defeated Webster's Dictionary!

Of course, there are many other definitions for this word, but I shall choose to keep my own.

For I just love outsmarting Webster's successors.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Queen's Meme: The Weird, Unusual, and Amusing Meme

One of the reasons why I love Mimi's memes so much is that they keep the grey matter ticking and the creative juices flowing. This week's edition is quite the challenge to my cerebral cortex. Read on for the explanation:

The following statements are true. Your job is to explain why you think they are true. Just offer up your usual amusing quips! I'm betting we'll have some hysterical responses. Remember that somewhere somebody in the world needs to know these things and your tax dollars probably paid for the research that went into proving them true.

Kittens, I would love to hear your explanations of why these statements are true. Comment away once you're done!

1. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
This is an easy one. Not all countries have airports. Not all countries can afford to have airplanes. Besides, ever try to tame a donkey? There's a reason why they're called stubborn. They go anywhere they want, wherever they want, and they don't care who or what they're running into.

2. Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
I'm sorry, Mimi, I know you wanted an explanation for this, but I don't see the logic in it at all, when Bugs Bunny and his pals are allowed to cavort through the Acme Forest completely naked.

And on another note...why is it that female animated characters are completely clothed, whereas the male ones either only have pants or shirts? Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck wear dresses and bloomers! Is this a double standard in cartoon censorship?

3. If you keep a Goldfish in the dark room, it will eventually turn white.
Goldfish get bored really easily. All they do is swim around in that little bowl, day in and day out, waiting for something special to happen, and of course, it never does. (Unless there's a cat in the house, but that's another post).

The reason that goldfish turn white in the dark has to do with evolution, kittens. You see, when you're swimming in that little bowl, day in and day out, as you get older, it's hard to see things. What goldfish may perceive as open water is actually a fake-out, like the guy who the birds prank in the Windex commercials:

That whole "turning white" thing has to do with being able to see in the dark. If they're white, they'll glow in the dark, and they'll be able to see. See?

4. The shortest war in history was between Zanzibar and England in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes. Why were they fighting in the first place?
I had to consult Wikipedia, that bastion of journalistic integrity, to find out exactly where Zanzibar was. (Off the coast of Tanzania, Africa. Confirmed by gut feeling it was somewhere in Africa). Why a 38-minute war? Well, Zanzibar consists of two tiny islands. If you're a nation of two tiny islands fighting the greatest naval/colonial empire in the world, wouldn't you surrender, too? I mean, how would you defend yourself?

5. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
A gal's gotta flirt somehow--DUH!!!!

Ask this question, however, to Nancy Pelosi, and you may get a different answer:

6. The ant always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

Because the ant carries the magnum of champagne in his right leg. It weighs it down and causes him to fall sideways. All ants are right legged, ya know!

7. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Your brain wouldn't be that big, either, if you spent your whole day with your head in the sand. All of those educational opportunities and life experiences, wasted.

8. In England, the Speaker of The House is not allowed to speak.

He/she wouldn't shut up, otherwise. Maybe he/she could take lessons from Nancy Pelosi and communicate solely by eye blinking.

9. By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.
Who wants to go out to the wetlands behind my house and find this out for themselves?

10. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
I think this is really sad that this happens. Seriously, I can't think of anything funny about this. Sorry, guys.

11. The electric chair was invented by a dentist.
The good doc ran out of anesthesia for a routine cavity fill one day, so he decided on shock therapy to help out his poor patient, and...whoops!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Random Saturday stuff

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and I just enjoyed some morning coffee and a book on the porch, drinking in the sunlight. I plan to go out for a walk in a little bit, so I'll keep this somewhat short.

I recently bought an external hard drive. Sister Kitten suggested I look for one on, and I got a 500GB portable one, with a free travel case. My computer is very quickly running out of space, due to all of the photos/iTunes downloads I've got on there, so I need to back up my stuff. Plus all of the "stuff" has been causing it to run tres slowly.

Speaking of my computer, I have a five-year-old E-Machine. Go ahead and laugh, I know. It was dirt cheap when I bought it at Circuit City--again, feel free to laugh.

Today is Derby Day--one of the two or three times a year when I actually give a damn about horse racing. I enjoy watching the Kentucky Derby and admiring the women who wear the big floppy hats and drink their mint juleps. I must admit I've never had a mint julep. I don't know how to make one, other than the fact that I need fresh mint. But y'all know me--I'm a wine lover above anything else alcoholic.

That's about it for now. Like I said, I'm keeping this short because it's such a gorgeous day and I'd hate to waste it in front of the computer screen. Ciao for now!